THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

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1 THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

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3 WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST? The gospel of Jesus Christ is our Heavenly Father s plan for the happiness and salvation* of His children. It is called the gospel of Jesus Christ because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to this plan. According to His plan, our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to show us how to live meaningful and happy lives and experience eternal joy after this life. Through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, you can become clean from sin and enjoy peace of conscience. You can become worthy to live in our Heavenly Father s presence after this life. To receive this peace and strength, you must learn and follow the principles and ordinances of the gospel. A principle is a truth that can be applied in life; an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood and is often a means of entering into a covenant with our Heavenly Father. The first principles of the gospel are faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. The first ordinances of the gospel are baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. You can live the gospel of Jesus Christ by: Developing faith in Jesus Christ. Repenting. Being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost. Enduring to the end. After you learn and follow the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, you seek to follow Christ s example throughout the remainder of your life. This continued faithfulness is called enduring to the end. *Words in red are defined on pages 18 and 19. The teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ are central to His gospel. 3

4 FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST Faith is a strong belief that motivates a person to act. Faith that leads to forgiveness of sins is centered in Jesus Christ, whose Atonement makes forgiveness possible. Faith in Jesus Christ is more than a passive belief in Him. It means believing that He is the Son of God and that He suffered for your sins, afflictions, Trust in the Lord with and infirmities. It means acting on all thine heart; and lean that belief. Faith in Jesus Christ not unto thine leads you to love Him, trust Him, own understanding. and obey His commandments. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall REPENTANCE direct thy paths. Faith in Jesus Christ leads you to want to change your life for the Proverbs 3:5 6 better. As you study the gospel, you recognize that you have sinned, or acted against the will and teachings of God. Through repentance, you change those thoughts, desires, habits, and actions that are not in harmony with God s teachings. He promises that when you repent, He will forgive your sins. When you repent you: Recognize that you have sinned and feel sincere sorrow for what you have done. Stop doing what is wrong, and strive never to do it again. Confess your sins to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. Doing so relieves a heavy burden. If you have sinned against another person, you also ask that person for forgiveness. 4 Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel.

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7 Make restitution. You do all you can to correct the problems your actions may have caused. Keep the commandments. Obeying God s commandments brings the power of the gospel into your life. The gospel will give you strength to abandon your sins. Keeping the commandments includes giving service, forgiving others, and attending Church meetings. Acknowledge the Savior. The most important part of repentance is the realization that forgiveness comes because of Jesus Christ. Sometimes you may have felt that God will not forgive serious sins. But the Savior suffered for our sins so they can be put behind us, even the serious ones. The result of true repentance is forgiveness, peace, comfort, and joy. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we harm ourselves and seriously injure others in ways that we alone cannot repair. We break things that we alone cannot fix. Then we feel guilt, humiliation, and suffering, which we alone cannot cure. The healing Repentance does not always mean power of the Atonement making big changes. Often it simply can remedy what we requires an increased commitment to live according to God s will. True cannot repair. repentance does not always happen quickly; be patient with yourself as you strive to do what is right and correct mistakes you make. As you repent, you will experience a change of heart. You will no longer desire to sin. You will come to know that you are a child of God and that you need not continue making the same mistakes over and over. Your desire to follow God will grow stronger and deeper. Jesus offers peace to all who repent. 7

8 BAPTISM AND THE HOLY GHOST Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance prepare you for baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ taught that everyone must be baptized of water and of the Spirit (the Holy Ghost) for the remission, or forgiveness, of sins. Through baptism by one who holds priesthood authority and through receiving the Holy Ghost, you will be spiritually reborn. Why Do I Need to Be Baptized? Jesus Christ set the example for us by being baptized to fulfil all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). When you are baptized, you receive a remission of your sins (see Acts 2:38). You make a covenant, or promise, with God: you promise to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, to follow Him, and to keep His commandments. If Jesus answered, Verily, you do your part, your Heavenly verily, I say unto thee, Father promises to forgive your sins. Except a man be born of When you are baptized by proper water and of the Spirit, authority, your sins are washed away. he cannot enter into the Baptism involves a brief immersion kingdom of God. in water. This is how Jesus Christ John 3:5 was baptized. Baptism by immersion is a sacred symbol of the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ; it represents the end of your old life and the beginning of a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ. Why Do I Need to Receive the Holy Ghost? While baptism washes you of your sins, the Holy Ghost sanctifies, or purifies, you. If you remain faithful to your baptismal covenants, you can have the Holy Ghost with you always. 8 Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist.

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10 All good people can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, but only those who are baptized and who receive the Holy Ghost have the right to His constant companionship throughout life. The Holy Ghost helps you recognize and understand truth. He provides spiritual strength and inspiration. He comforts you in difficult times and guides you in making decisions. You can feel God s love and influence in your daily life through the Holy Ghost. You can be taught and guided by the Holy Ghost. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever Your ability to enjoy this divine gift depends on your obedience to God s commandments. The Holy Ghost cannot remain with those who do not live according to God s teachings. They lose the privilege of His guidance and inspiration. Always strive to be worthy of the companionship and direction of the Holy Ghost. I have said unto you. You receive the Holy Ghost after baptism. In an ordinance called John 14:26 confirmation, one or more authorized priesthood holders lay their hands on your head. They confirm you a member of the Church and bless you to receive the Holy Ghost. This ordinance normally takes place in a church service soon after baptism. When you are baptized and confirmed, you become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 10 Words in red are defined on pages 18 and 19. The Holy Ghost is given by the laying on of hands.

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13 The Sacrament After you are baptized, you can renew your baptismal covenants The sacrament helps you each week by partaking of the remember with gratitude sacrament. During the sacrament the life, ministry, and service, bread and water are blessed Atonement of Jesus Christ. and passed to the congregation as a reminder of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The bread represents His body, and the water represents His blood. As you renew your baptismal covenants, you are promised that you will have the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, with you always. Words in red are defined on pages 18 and 19. The sacrament helps us remember Jesus Christ. 13

14 ENDURING TO THE END You become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and the ordinances of baptism and confirmation. After you become a member of the Church, you will continue to grow in understanding. You will continue to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, renew your baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament, and follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost. These first principles and ordinances of the gospel are a pattern to follow throughout life. This lifelong commitment is often called enduring to the end. Enduring to the end brings direction, peace, and happiness to life. You will feel the joy of trying to become more like Jesus Christ as you serve and help those around you. You will better understand your relationship with your Father in Heaven and feel His perfect love for you. You will feel hope and a sense of purpose in an often unhappy and troubled world. 14

15 The gospel of Jesus Christ is a way of life. Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. 2 Nephi 31:20

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17 HOW CAN I KNOW? The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through revelation from God to the Prophet Joseph Smith and to other prophets. You can know for yourself that these things are true by asking your Heavenly Father in prayer. He will answer you through the Holy Ghost, who is also called the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost witnesses, or testifies, of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost confirms truth through feelings, thoughts, and impressions. The feelings that come from the Holy How Do I Pray? Address your Heavenly Father. Express the feelings of your heart (gratitude, questions, requests to confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the missionaries). Close ( In the name of Jesus Christ, amen ). Ghost are powerful, but they are also usually gentle and quiet. As taught in the Bible, The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance (Galatians 5:22 23). These feelings are a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that this message is true. You will then need to choose whether you will live in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through Joseph Smith. You can know the truth through sincere prayer. 17

18 LIST OF TERMS Atonement The event that enables us to be reconciled to God. To atone is to suffer the penalty for sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from repentant sinners. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect Atonement for all mankind. His Atonement included His suffering for our sins, the shedding of His blood, and His death and Resurrection. Because of the Atonement, everyone who has lived will be resurrected. The Atonement also provides us with a way to be forgiven of our sins and to live forever with God. Baptism An essential step in receiving forgiveness of sins. Through baptism and confirmation by priesthood authority, we become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Baptism is by immersion, meaning that the person being baptized is briefly submerged in water. Baptism shows our willingness to follow Christ s example and to make covenants with God. Confirmation The way a person receives the Holy Ghost. In this ordinance, which usually takes place in sacrament meeting soon after baptism, the person is confirmed, or made, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Covenant An agreement between God and His children. God gives the conditions for the covenant, and we agree to obey Him. God promises certain blessings for our obedience. 18

19 Grace Divine help and strength given through the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. Through His grace, made possible by His Atonement, all mankind will be resurrected. Through His grace, those who continually repent and live according to His gospel will feel an enduring closeness to their Heavenly Father in this life and live in His presence after this life. Ordinance A sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Examples include baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament. Ordinances are often a means of entering into covenants with God. Sacrament An ordinance that reminds Church members of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. By partaking of the sacrament, we renew the covenants we make at baptism. Bread and water are blessed and given to the congregation. The bread represents the body of Jesus Christ, and the water represents His blood. This ordinance occurs each week in a worship service called sacrament meeting. Salvation Deliverance from sin and death. Salvation is made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, everyone will be able to overcome the effects of death. We can also be saved from the effects of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ. This faith is manifested in a life of repentance and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel and service to Christ. 19

20 ADDITIONAL STUDY The following questions and scriptures will help you learn more about the principles in this pamphlet and ponder on them. The list is not comprehensive; footnotes and cross-references in the scriptures will refer you to additional passages and resources. What is the gospel of Jesus Christ? 3 Nephi 27:13 22 (Book of Mormon, pages ) What does it mean to have faith? How can faith give you strength? Hebrews 11:1, 6 (Bible, New Testament) Alma 32:21, (Book of Mormon, pages ) Ether 12:6 (Book of Mormon, page 509) What does it mean to repent? Why does everyone need to repent? Luke 15:3 10 (Bible, New Testament) Acts 3:19 (Bible, New Testament) Alma 12:33 34 (Book of Mormon, page 240) 20

21 Why does everyone need to be baptized? Acts 2:38 (Bible, New Testament) 2 Nephi (Book of Mormon, pages ) What is the Holy Ghost? How can the Holy Ghost bless your life? 2 Nephi 32:5 (Book of Mormon, page 115) 3 Nephi 27:20 (Book of Mormon, page 459) What is the purpose of the sacrament? 3 Nephi 18:1 12 (Book of Mormon, page 442) Moroni 4 5 (Book of Mormon, pages ) What does it mean to endure to the end? 2 Nephi 31:15 20 (Book of Mormon, page 114) 3 Nephi 15:9 (Book of Mormon, page 437) 21

22 W ORSHIP WITH U S COME AND SEE HOW THE RESTORED GOSPEL CAN BLESS YOUR LIFE Sacrament meeting is the main worship service. It usually lasts a little over an hour and typically consists of the following: Hymns: Sung by the congregation. (Hymnbooks are provided.) Prayers: Offered by local Church members. The sacrament: Bread and water are blessed and passed to the congregation in remembrance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Speakers: Usually one or two preassigned members of the congregation speak on gospel topics. Dress: Men and boys generally wear suits or nice pants with a shirt and tie. Women and girls wear dresses or skirts. Donations are not requested during worship services. 22

23 We also invite you to attend additional meetings, according to your interests and age group. The order and availability of these meetings may vary. Sunday School: Classes for studying the scriptures and doctrines of the gospel. Priesthood meetings: Classes for men and boys ages 12 and older. Relief Society: Classes for women ages 18 and older. Young Women: Classes for girls ages 12 to 18. Primary: Group service and classes for children ages 3 to 11. A nursery for children ages 18 months to 3 years is often available. Sacrament meeting time: Chapel address: 23

24 What Should I Do? Read the Book of Mormon. Suggested readings: Pray to know that Jesus Christ is your Savior. Repent and pray for forgiveness of your sins. Strive to live according to God s commandments. Attend church. Prepare to be baptized on Visit to learn more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue meeting with the missionaries to learn more about the truths God has restored through modern-day prophets. Next appointment: Missionaries names and phone number: Image Credits Front cover: Detail from Living Water, by Simon Dewey. Simon Dewey. Do not copy Page 2: Detail from The Sermon on the Mount, by Carl Heinrich Bloch. Used by permission of the National Historic Museum at Frederiksborg in Hillerød, Denmark Page 5: Christ Raising the Daughter of Jairus, by Greg K. Olsen. Greg K. Olsen Page 6: The Gentle Healer, by Greg K. Olsen. Conceptions Unlimited Investments, Inc. Do not copy Page 9: John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus, by Greg K. Olsen. Greg K. Olsen. Do not copy Pages 12, 16, 22, 23 by Steve Bunderson 2008 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. English approval: 7/08 ENGLISH

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